Some Belated Truth on Islam, Multiculturalism and Integration
For decades now the ruling elites have insisted on the wonders of multiculturalism, “compassion” for refugees, open borders (effectively) for one and all, the belief that Islam is just like any other religion, and the firm commitment to receiving with open arms Muslims into the West.
People with a bit more sense always knew this was a lot of baloney, and many brave voices sought to warn about all this. But such voices were dismissed as racist, intolerant and lacking in compassion. The forces of political correctness, dhimmitude, and Western self-loathing combined to silence dissenting voices.
Thus we uncritically allowed all sorts of people into Western nations, but we keep being surprised when we find blood flowing on the streets of Western cities, with people screaming “Allahu Akbar” as they commit acts of terror and mass murder.
But thankfully, if a bit belatedly, some of these folks are beginning to wake up. They are now admitting they were wrong, and things are just not going to plan. As one article on a major new report from the UK puts it:
The former head of Britain’s Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), Trevor Phillips, has admitted he “got almost everything wrong” on Muslim immigration in a damning new report on integration, segregation, and how the followers of Islam are creating “nations within nations” in the West.
Phillips, a former elected member of the Labour Party who served as the Chairman of the EHRC from 2003-2012 will present “What British Muslims Really Think” on Channel 4 on Wednesday. An ICM poll released to the Times ahead of the broadcast reveals:
-One in five Muslims in Britain never enter a non-Muslim house;
-39 per cent of Muslims, male and female, say a woman should always obey her husband;
-31 per cent of British Muslims support the right of a man to have more than one wife;
-52 per cent of Muslims did not believe that homosexuality should be legal;
-23 per cent of Muslims support the introduction of Sharia law rather than the laws laid down by parliament.
Wow, those are some really damning stats. But nothing new for those of us who have been following all this. While many Muslims do love the West and seek to become part of it, the truth is, many do not. And these are not tiny minorities, but large percentages who refuse to blend in, who refuse to embrace Western values, and who refuse to renounce anti-Western Islamic beliefs and practices.
The April 10 article by Phillips in The Sunday Times is a real revelation – not so much for those of us who always knew that sloppy immigration and multiculturalism policies were a recipe for disaster, but for all the others who have toed the party line on all this.
Here we have one of the big cheeses responsible for so much of this now admitting that he got it wrong – big time. He is worth quoting from at length. He begins by telling us a bit about himself:
The survey of British Muslim opinion — What British Muslims Really Think — will be published in full by Channel 4 later this week. I was asked to examine the results and interpret them. When I was chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, I played a principal role in the creation of UK laws against religious discrimination — and it was a report that I commissioned exactly 20 years ago that first introduced the term Islamophobia to Britain.
It’s not as though we couldn’t have seen this coming. But we’ve repeatedly failed to spot the warning signs. Twenty years ago, when, as chair of the Runnymede Trust, I published the report titled Islamophobia: A Challenge for Us All, we thought that the real risk of the arrival of new communities was discrimination against Muslims. Our 1996 survey of recent incidents showed that there was plenty of it around. But we got almost everything else wrong. We estimated that the Muslim population of the UK would be approaching 2m by 2020. We underestimated by nearly a million. We predicted that the most lethal threat to Muslims would come from racial attacks and social exclusion. We completely failed to foresee the urban conflicts of 2001 that ravaged our northern cities. And of course we didn’t dream of 9/11 and the atrocities in Madrid, Paris, Istanbul, Brussels and London.
For a long time, I too thought that Europe’s Muslims would become like previous waves of migrants, gradually abandoning their ancestral ways, wearing their religious and cultural baggage lightly, and gradually blending into Britain’s diverse identity landscape. I should have known better.
Just months after I had taken over as head of the Commission for Racial Equality in 2003, I visited the town of Oldham, where some one in five of the population are British Muslims. Two years earlier the town had been torn apart by some of the worst race riots Britain had seen in my lifetime. An official government report had spoken of white and Asian communities living “parallel lives”. It couldn’t really be as bad as that, I thought. In fact, it was worse. Speaking to a hall of more than 200 students, one thing was immediately obvious: groups of white and Asian students sat in the same hall — but the groups didn’t mix. It was like looking at a living chess board. And to drive it home, one of the white students made no bones about what was going on. He told me, without rancour or aggression: “When we’re here it’s fine, we get on. But when we leave here on Friday, we won’t see them [Asians] until Monday.” No one dissented.
After the northern riots of 2001, wise heads, such as Professor Ted Cantle, who had written the “parallel lives” report, warned that we could not afford to allow things to drift. But not even Cantle — much less me — foresaw just how divisive the consequences of this kind of segregation would become. Today, we can see that on certain key issues Britain is nurturing communities with a complete set of alternative values. None is more alarming than attitudes towards women.
The contempt for white girls among some Muslim men has been highlighted by the recent scandals in Rotherham, Oxford, Rochdale and other towns. But this merely reflects a deeply ingrained sexism that runs through Britain’s Muslim communities.
Most people think that some Muslim men’s attitudes to women may be a little antediluvian. But it comes as a shock to hear a respected Asian head teacher, Noshaba Hussain, soberly recount the behaviour of small boys in her school — which they had surely picked up from the men in their families.
“The boys used to act as thought police. You know, they would go around and actually hit the girls on their heads if their heads weren’t covered. I even had one boy, one nine-year-old boy, say to me, ‘Why haven’t you covered your head? It is only slags who don’t cover their head.’ ”
The ICM survey provides a torrent of data that backs up the impression that this is a community whose idea of women’s equality lies eons away from the mainstream. Two out of five Muslims — men and women — say they believe that a woman should always obey her husband. Nusrat, a highly intelligent and scholarly student, Sudanese in origin, told me: “If the husband is saying ‘obey’ in the context of asking me to do things that are pleasing to Allah, then by all means, because ultimately my faith teaches me — and teaches many Muslims — that our duty is to Allah first.”
We didn’t get to discuss whether the injunction at sura 4:34 of the Koran to chastise your wife falls under this rubric. I have no doubt that many husbands will claim that it does. The bland Koranic platitude, in my view, hides a clear invitation to legitimize domestic violence.
One in three British Muslims supports the right of a man to have more than one wife, even though it is illegal in the UK. While the support for such a policy is strongest among older Muslims, they are nearly matched in their enthusiasm for polygamy by young Muslims aged 18 to 24. Such unions, of course, would be recognized by sharia law. Amra, a female sharia court judge, says: “In my experience, it’s not men who have demanded it; it’s women. I personally have met women who have said to me, ‘I do not want a full-time husband. I don’t want him under my feet.’ For a man it’s a huge responsibility. For a woman it’s a privilege.”
The ever-pragmatic Nusrat chimed into our conversation with some advice for the aspirant bigamist: “You have to make sure that you are actually treating your wives in a fair way. I think even Islam says, that even within the Koran, if you have more than one wife, if you can’t do justice to them, don’t have them at all. So you have to actually make sure that you are doing justice by them.”
More than half of the sample reported that they believe that homosexuality should be illegal. Even more opposed gay marriage, and nearly half thought that it was unacceptable for a gay person to teach their children. A quarter supported the introduction of sharia law in parts of the UK — presumably those areas where they thought Muslims constitute a majority — instead of the common statute laid down by parliament. Allah’s law, apparently, need take no heed of democracy.
He brings his piece to a close this way:
Oddly, the biggest obstacles we now face in addressing the growth of this nation-within-a-nation are not created by British Muslims themselves. Many of our (distinctly un-diverse) elite political and media classes simply refuse to acknowledge the truth. Any undesirable behaviors are attributed to poverty and alienation. Backing for violent extremism must be the fault of the Americans. Oppression of women is a cultural trait that will fade with time, nothing to do with the true face of Islam.
Even when confronted with the growing pile of evidence to the contrary, and the angst of the liberal minority of British Muslims, clever, important people still cling to the patronizing certainty that British Muslims will, over time, come to see that “our” ways are better. And since there are so few Muslims in the corridors of power, they seldom run into anyone who can show them the reality. Those who do want to make a difference are often consumed by fear that they will be seen as prejudiced. So while our liberal elite wrings its hands in anguish and makes school children celebrate Eid, Diwali, Hanukkah — and Easter — hundreds of young people are being seduced to join Islamist fanatics abroad, thousands of young girls are shipped off to have their genitals mutilated, and many more are pressured into marriages they do not want.
Better late than never I guess. One of our elites has finally woken up to some harsh realities about Islam and the West. But will others also wake up? And will they wake up in time? That is the real question.
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